Item #1963 Des Ballets anciens et modernes selon les regles du theatre. Claude-François Menestrier.
The first history of dance

Des Ballets anciens et modernes selon les regles du theatre.

A Paris: Chez Rene’ Guignard, rüe Saint Jacques, au grand saint Basile, M. DC. LXXXII [1683]. First edition. In contemporary calf. Spine with raised bands, gilt title, and compartments. Woodcut device on the title page. Woodcut diagrams. Nicolas Yemeniz’s bookplate on front pastedown, with bibliographical notes in ink, probably by Yemeniz. [56] 232 [i.e. 323] [5] p. Corners bumped. Slightly rubbed at extremities. Inside clean and firm. Overall in fine condition.

The first edition of the first published history of dance.

Menestrier’ Des Ballets anciens et modernes is the first book to be published on the history of dance. It gives detailed descriptions of numerous early ballets and court spectacles and contains text diagrams depicting Italian-style theatre entries made in 1667 on the occasion of the Duke of Parma's marriage to the Princess of Modena.

Claude-François Menestrier (1631–1705) was a French Jesuit historian, dance historian, and one of the greatest authorities of his age in the field of heraldry. As a creator of grand events, he directed various festivals, including a ballet to celebrate Louis XIV's visit to Lyon in 1658.

Provenance: Bookplate of Nicolas Yemeniz (1781–1871), a descendant of a Greek Phanariot family from Constantinople, who established himself in Lyon as a textile merchant and manufacturer of upholstery silk; by his extensive book and manuscript collection, he is counted among the greatest French bibliophiles at the end of the 19th century.


Price: €5,000.00

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